Quirks

Light switches switch the other way.

Beer is $1.50 but one small carton of soy milk is $5.

A haircut is $3 but a small bottle of hair gel is $5.

Your clothes get completely dirty in one day, but a washing machine cycle takes ~2 hours. (But uses only ~.5 gal of water.)

You can rub paint off the walls with your hand.

No preservatives, hormones, or other additives in the food, but there are no detergents, creams, cleaners, etc. without heavy fragrances.

No electrical outlets in the bathrooms.

An espresso (just “kafa” or “café” – the place you consume it is called a “café bar” or “kofi bar”) is ~50¢, but can you drink it? (Miriam still can’t. I consider it “not very smooth”.)

Is this Spain? Typical lunch is 2 hours–1 hour for lunch and 1 hour for coffee (and smokes, of course). Ah, no, just post-communist socialism.


We went to the corner market and there were four people working there. One in the window at the street. One to weigh fruits and vegetables. And two at the checkouts. The fruit lady weighed our bananas and stuck them in a bag. We went to the first cashier who waved us on to the other one (we were the only two customers there). She shouted across to the fruit lady who told her the price. 50¢.


At Cafe Brazil a trio (two girls and a guy) sat next to us who spoke English with an American accent, Arabic, and one of them spoke decent Bosnian. They mixed their Arabic and English like it was Spanglish (Arablish?). They seemed to be here under religious auspices but spoke about designer clothes, boyfriends, traveling to western cities and gossiped about other people in their community. They were exactly like evangelical Christians in the States but they were foreign Muslims in Sarajevo. WTF?


The outside walls are concrete block but inside walls are paper thin. (Miriam says I don’t even know what paper thin is, though.) Our neighbors blast one CD. Guess what CD? Caedmon’s Call (self titled). First time was interesting and somehow strangely comforting but right this very second I can’t stand it.


A huge loaf of fresh bread is 25¢.

DSL, in the format we are used to in the States (i.e. pay one fee for the connection, no bandwidth limitations, etc.) is $310 a month with a $162 setup fee. For the same setup fee and $56 a month, you can have DSL with a 1GB/month limit, which works out to 33MB a day. I could soak 33MB in one hour with broadband (and I don’t even use any P2P programs at all) (there are additional “plans” like $80/2GB/mo and $168/5GB/mo). So tell me, what good is DSL if you can’t use it? Never mind that they are bending you way over on the price. There is another broadband provider that uses microwave, $228 setup and $28/mo for 30MB/day or $56/90MB/day. Not as bad. (On either system, you are charged anywhere from 2¢ to 5¢ a MB after exceeding your bandwidth limitation.) This may work out, I don’t know. For now I’m going to get dial up, which is $4/mo plus anywhere from .5¢ to 1¢ a minute. For normal usage, this is actually a great plan. I could see locals being able to afford it. But I have no idea how anyone affords broadband unless they have money to burn.